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Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating Power and Women’s Agency: Article Analysis

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Part 1: Introduction, literature review and methodology

In her article entitled “Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating power and women’s agency” author Daisy Deomampo addresses the discrimination and predicaments that women face with transnational surrogacy in India. Transnational surrogacy is when parents, single parents and even same sex families around the world who want children through egg donation or in vitro fertilization can look for a woman from another country to carry and birth their child for them. Deomampo also discusses how women take action to overcome the issues of inequality they face in their lives. As well as how they enact agency to get what they need or desire despite the inequality they face and also explains the consequences of their acts of agency particularly as they break cultural norms. (Deomampo, 2013, pg. 168)

When doing research the author interrogated many women in India to go look at what is going on but there are two women Deomampo focuses on in the article named Nishi and Antara from Mumbai, India who explain the challenges they went through with being surrogate mothers in their home country. Furthermore, there are a few concepts that she talks about in her article which are agency and power. She looks at how their power is undermined by the cultural norms in India and also how they use acts of agency to get what they need in terms of being a participant of surrogacy. It is common for women who are surrogate mothers in India to leave their husbands due to drunkenness and having abusive relationships and also because they disagree with their choices to become surrogates. The women see surrogacy as an opportunity to help their families with the money they receive. The methods that the author used included interviews because she went around India talking to surrogate mothers about the issue. Especially the women Nishi and Antara who explain the problems they faced.

Part 2: Nishi’s story

Nishi is a woman from Mumbai, India who was a participant of transnational surrogacy. In which, she cared for other parent’s children from another country. Deomampo selected Nishi to be in her article because apart from all the women she interviewed she was the only one to speak English, and had also went out of her way to educate herself about the subject of surrogacy. Her role in transnational surrogacy is because she defied the cultural norms and actually educated herself on the subject of surrogacy. Nishi wanted to learn more about surrogacy before going ahead and doing the procedures required which most women who were interviewed by Deomampo never did educate themselves first. (Deomampo,2013, pg. 175) .

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Nishi was also a victim of discrimination and abuse, because her own husband was against her becoming a surrogate mother, which caused her to separate for her husband. Another example of the inequality that she faced was through her agent-caretaker named Shanti. Agent-caretakers are those who look after the women before and after their time of surrogate procedures. that did not bother much of taking care of her during the time of her being a surrogate mother, which was an issue because when she received the payment of her services, her caretaker Shanti took all her money, making Nishi feel disappointed. Nishi felt distraught because her caretaker would take the quarter of her money when she thought she was doing most of the work herself. Nishi used agency to help get what she wanted in her life even though her power was undermined. As well as how the people in her life, for example, her caretaker used her power to take money from her. She still was able to overcome the predicament in her life.

Part 3: Antara’s story

Antara is a woman, a friend of Nishi’s also from Mumbai, India who Deomampo selects to also focus on in her article. Antara was selected because from the many women the author often met with her a lot during the time researching. Apart from Nishi who is a surrogate mother, Antara was both an agent caretaker for surrogate women. Her role in transnational surrogacy is how she advocated for the patients to receive money for their service and how she often went out of her way to always care for them. Antara never took money from her patients and was always a caring caretaker to the surrogate patients. She also faced discrimination with her own husband.

The action she took in order to ensure that she was able to become a participant of surrogacy, is that she called on her elder sister and sister in law, to convince her husband to let her become a surrogate participant. Deomampo states that Antara took on both roles of agent caretaker and surrogate mother which showed that Antara had fought the discrimination against her and had power and enacted agency to get what she wanted in her life. Antara also had a person she could go to, who would educate her and give all the information about being a surrogate mother. Despite the difficulties in her life becoming a participant of transnational surrogacy she overcame the obstacles and suffered much, but she was able take action.


  1. Deomampo, D. (2013). Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating Power and Womens Agency. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 34(3), 167–188.

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Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating Power and Women’s Agency: Article Analysis. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from
“Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating Power and Women’s Agency: Article Analysis.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating Power and Women’s Agency: Article Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023].
Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating Power and Women’s Agency: Article Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Mar 30]. Available from:
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